Hermit-Tonto-Kaibab Loop: Monument Creek to Indian Garden Campground

Grand Canyon National Park

Day two traverses the magnificent Tonto Platform as you make your way across the Canyon.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
16 km
Ascent
539 m
Descent
310 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
909 m
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Hermit-Tonto-Kaibab Loop: Monument Creek to Indian Garden Campground Map

Description

Today's route is one of my favorite days in the entire Canyon. The Tonto trail is simply spectacular. Walking along the Tonto platform is something every canyon hiker should experience.

Even though you parallel the Colorado River for most of the way, the views and intricacies of the Canyon vary throughout. New views of the river and rim constantly appear. Another plus is the relative flatness of this section when compared to other hikes in the Grand Canyon. The trail often rises and falls but is never too steep.

Note, there is not much water between Monument Creek and Indian Garden so be sure to resupply where you can. There are a few streams along the way, but they are not always reliable depending on the time of year.

A worthy side trip from Monument Creek is a visit to Granite Rapids. Depending on when you arrive at Monument Creek camp you can either visit the rapids in the afternoon on the first day or in the morning on the second. Regardless, the trip is well worth it as the rapids are some of the most impressive in the canyon. There is also a great campsite—not a lot of amenities—located at the rapids.

Arriving at Indian Garden is a treat as it is one of the gems of the canyon. It is one of the nicer backcountry campgrounds in the National Park System. There is a stream flowing throughout, and the camp spots have great views of the surrounding area. There are also multiple side trips that depart from Indian Garden (such as Plateau Point). This is also a good spot to hang out with fellow hikers.

If you have the time, staying at Indian Garden for two nights is not a bad idea, either. Note, this campground will likely be more crowded than Monument Creek given it is located along the popular Bright Angel trail.

Overall, this route has 360-degree views throughout and should not be missed!

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

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